May Queen’s Enigmatic Reverie: Hazel Iris Explores Desire and Femininity in ‘Diana’
Get ready to be transported into the enigmatic realm of California indie-art-pop artist Hazel Iris, now based in the eclectic streets of Berlin. She’s back with a mesmerizing new track, ‘Diana,’ extracted from her latest musical opus, ‘May Queen,’ which is already making waves across the auditory landscape.
‘Diana’ casts a spell reminiscent of a dusky twilight, where tremolo-heavy electric guitars waltz in the shadows. Hazel Iris’ velvety vocals, paired with a hauntingly lonely baseline, conjure an atmosphere of a night ripe with electric anticipation. Accompanying this sonic journey is a visually captivating masterpiece, courtesy of filmmaker Mona Najma. She skilfully paints the music video with shades of deep red, invoking the imagery of an ancient cavern glowing like an ember. The video unfolds in a Brontë-esque landscape, dripping with longing and anticipation, where neither Heathcliff nor Mr. Rochester can be found. Najma weaves a sensory tapestry of light, shadow, textures, and shapes in a nod to the legendary Maya Deren. It’s a cinematic experience that defies logic but beckons you into an atmospheric realm of desire and joy.
Hazel Iris herself sheds light on the essence of ‘Diana,’ declaring it a celebration of desire, unapologetically overwhelmed by anticipation and lust. The drums simmer to a boil, while seductive synthesizers coax Diana’s lover towards the climax of ecstasy. In a world still shedding its shackles of millennia-old misogynistic stereotypes, ‘Diana’ offers a glimpse into a woman who refuses to deny her natural desires, unburdened by societal expectations.
May Queen, the larger tapestry to which ‘Diana’ belongs, pays homage to the multifaceted journey of womanhood. Drawing inspiration from the late science fiction novelist Ursula K. LeGuin, Hazel Iris channels the spirit of iconic artists like Kate Bush, Florence Welch, and Tori Amos. Her artistic journey is a melange of ancient tales and melancholy moods.
Unlike her previous releases, which include a sonic portrait gallery (Misfortunate Tales), a collection of Indie-Folk art songs (Nine Sisters), and an original folktale interwoven with electric guitars (The Forest and the Girl), ‘May Queen’ emerges as a full-length album drenched in 1980s synthesizers, crafting a Dream Pop soundscape like no other. But it’s more than just music; it’s a powerful exploration of feminine sexuality.
Rooted in the myth of the ancient goddess Persephone, Hazel Iris delves into aspects of the female life cycle still shrouded in taboo. She reflects on how women have historically been objectified and disempowered, a trend that continues today. Yet, Hazel Iris reminds us that women are fountains of strength, sensuality, and wisdom, bridging the gap between the known and the mysterious.
‘May Queen’ is not just an album; it’s a celebration of freedom. It boldly discusses love, lust, pleasure, nature, death, and rebirth, all outside the limiting confines of the male gaze. Through a lush musical landscape, filled with laidback drums, tremolo-laden dreamy guitars, sensuous basslines, and enchanting synth realms, Hazel Iris transports us to the intersection of New Wave and Dream Pop. In her hands, music becomes a conduit for exploring the profound connections between humanity and nature, drawing parallels between how we treat each other and how we treat the planet.
In a world where voices of empowerment and liberation are more crucial than ever, Hazel Iris’ ‘May Queen’ stands as a testament to the unapologetic celebration of femininity and desire. It’s an invitation to shed societal constraints and embrace the beauty of the unknown, all set to a mesmerising sonic backdrop that blurs the lines between dreams and reality. Hazel Iris is not just an artist; she’s a visionary weaving a tapestry of sound and storytelling that challenges the status quo and offers a tantalising glimpse of what music can truly be.